OTTUMWA — One of the candidates for school board whose nomination was challenged doesn’t want people to vote for her.

“I would prefer people not vote for me,” said Krista Tedrow. “I didn’t do my due diligence.”

Tedrow, who is running for a two-year term, was one of seven candidates whose nominations were questioned by Ottumwa attorney Ryan Mitchell. He objected to her nomination petitions, as well as the petitions of six other candidates, on the grounds that they were missing the petition collector’s signature as required by Iowa law.

An objections committee was formed from Board Secretary John Berg and board members Gary Granneman and Mike Dalbey. They recommended the Ottumwa school board allow Tedrow and the other candidates to remain on the ballot, which the board confirmed by vote Sept. 30.

The committee and the board made their decisions based on the fact that the candidates had been given incorrect information. Each of the seven had been told either by Berg or the county auditor’s office that a petition circulator’s signature was required only if the petition had been circulated by somebody other than the candidate.

However, each of the candidates had been given three documents when they announced their intentions to run. One of these, the “Candidate’s Guide to the General Election,” is an information packet provided by the Iowa Secretary of State.

On the ninth page of the document, under the heading “Circulator Information,” is an explanation of what a petition circulator is. It states: “The candidate or person collecting signatures on behalf of any candidate or campaign must provide their name, address, phone number and signature on each petition page on which the circulator collects signatures.”

“I should have known better, so I don’t have an excuse,” said Tedrow. “For people that don’t deal with this kind of documentation all the time, this could be challenging.”

While Tedrow can’t withdraw her candidacy, since the deadline to do so has passed, she doesn’t want people to vote for her.

“I believe how candidates conduct themselves now until November is indicative of how our youth will conduct themselves now until May,” she said. “The more we can have open, honest, respectful conversations with one another, the better we are for our youth, each other, and our community.”

Elections for school board will be held Nov. 5. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Jack Langland can be reached at jlangland@ottumwacourier.com.

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